Marie McCabe - FdSc Nursing Associate

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I have always wanted to work in health care and one day become a registered nurse. Having the opportunity to choose the route of a degree apprenticeship allowed me to maintain employment with my trust which meant I was able to maintain a monthly wage whilst studying. This was highly beneficial especially with having three children under 16 at home. It also allowed me some flexibility and a good work life balance.

Looking back over your time on the apprenticeship so far, how have you found the whole experience?

As a whole I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on this course. We have been learning and working through a pandemic which has certainly brought its own challenges with online learning, staff shortages, poorly patients, increased infection control etc. Having said that, it has definitely inspired me to push forward, it has built my resilience and my confidence in my role as a Trainee Nursing Associate.

In the midst of this pandemic, I have met the most wonderful health care staff, from nurses, to nursing assistants, consultants to domestics. A very wholesome experience in all.

How are you hoping an apprenticeship will support your career progression?

I am hoping to eventually top-up to registered nurse. I feel that this programme has allowed me to build a strong foundation of knowledge and experience which I can continue to build upon and reach my end goal.

What impact has your apprenticeship had in the organisation?

I feel that it has had a significant impact, and this has been more noticeable throughout the pandemic. We are able to support and assist in duties that a student nurse may not be able to. I feel that in terms of staffing levels, our presence on the ward has been a positive one.

How would you describe the support that you’ve received from the University of Salford?

The support from the University of Salford has been fantastic. I have always felt supported, especially by my Clinical Educator, Emma Hadfield. She provides weekly/fortnightly drop-ins where we can discuss anything from university to placement to home stressor, she always has great advice and her door is always firmly open.

Do you have any advice for future apprentices?

Seek support from your university trust, they will help you. Enjoy the course, the experiences, the people.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship?